Statistician on a Plane Joke

Speaking of probability and statistics, there is the story of a statistician who told a friend that he never took airplanes: “I have computed the probability that there will be a bomb on the plane,” he explained, “and although this probability is low, it is still too high for my comfort. ” Two weeks later, the friend met the statistician on a plane. “How come you changed your theory?” he asked. “Oh, I didn’t change my theory; it’s just that I subsequently computed the probability that there would simultaneously be two bombs on a plane. This probability is low enough for my comfort. So now I simply carry my own bomb.”

—from To Mock a Mockingbird

You've read this far⁠—want more?

Subscribe and I'll e-mail you updates along with the ideas that I don't share anywhere else.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.